Anthony “Buck” J. Cifelli, age 84, returned home to the Lord on December 3, 2019.
Buck was born on November 27, 1935 in Conneaut, the son of Leo and Julia (Toth) Cifelli. He was a 1954 graduate of Conneaut High School where he was active in sports and was a star basketball player under Coach Andy Garcia. He served in the United States Army in Germany where he once “bummed” a cigarette from Elvis Presley, who was also stationed there.
He worked at Thayer Shoes and then at the P & C Dock Company as a tower operator until his retirement in 1997. After his retirement, he enjoyed working at Windy Hill Golf Course and collected boat fees at the Conneaut Port Authority.
Buck was a member of Corpus Christi Parish where he attended mass on a regular basis with his wife Irene. He loved his Italian heritage and family. Friends and family were of utmost importance to him and he remained close with many of his high school classmates. He spoke to his brother, Len, often to lament about his favorite sports team, the Cleveland Browns.
Buck and Irene were married for 51 years and he was heartbroken over her loss this past September. He often said she was his “one and only.” They built a good life together, blending their families. He never thought of Irene’s family as anything less than his own. His grandchildren fondly remember the time he spent with them playing card games like “War,” going sled riding at Township Park, making up funny words, and never hesitating to build blanket tents in the middle of the living room at any moment of the day. The time spent with his grandchildren and the way he made them feel will forever be etched in their minds, memories, and hearts.
Many will remember Buck with a video camera, documenting every major event, party, and holiday while occasionally adding his own humor and satire. He kept a journal and documented even mundane daily activities. He appreciated everything and everyone in his life. If he loved you, you definitely knew it and if he didn’t... well, you knew that too.
Buck enjoyed bowling, playing cards, golfing, bocce and entertaining. He was instrumental in promoting the building of bocce courts at the park. He embodied the stereotypical, Hollywood-type “Italian” and appreciated a good cigar, any music by Sinatra or Dean Martin, and the movie Casablanca. A romantic, he watched that movie at least a dozen times a year.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife Irene Vincenzo Cifelli, brother Leo Cifelli and sister Marcelene Markijohn.
Buck is survived by his devoted daughters, Paula Raffenaud of Ashtabula and Michele (Alan) Ward of Painesville: grandchildren Jason (Jennifer) Raffenaud, Alan (Tacy Dooley) Ward, Chelsea (Mike) Palubiak, great grandchildren, Anthony, Nicolas, Collette, Hayden, AJ, and Mia. He is also survived by his younger brother, Len of Madison, sister Joyce (Paul) Shellhammer of Conneaut, and Yvette Cifelli, sister in law from N, Royalton, Ohio along with many dear nieces and nephews of whom he was proud. Brothers-in-law, Donald and Joseph Vincenzo from Ashtabula also survive.
The family will greet friends and relatives from 11:00 am until Noon, on Monday, January 6, 2020 at St. Frances Cabrini Church, 744 Mill Street, Conneaut, prior to a Mass of Christian Burial.
Father Raymond Thomas of Our Lady of Peace Parish and Deacon Nick Iarocci will officiate at the Noon Mass.
Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery in Conneaut with the American Legion Honor Squad presenting full military honors.
Contributions in Buck’s memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Envelopes will be available at the church.
The Raisian Family Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements.
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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105